Wal-Mart Stores Inc reported a higher quarterly profit as the world's biggest retailer clamped down on inventory and controlled expenses, but forecast earnings over the key holiday quarter that could miss Wall Street estimates.
Weekly sales at John Lewis department stores jumped 7.8 percent year-on-year, boosted by demand for Halloween products and early Christmas shopping and adding to signs of a consumer recovery in Britain.
Updates from three of Britain's biggest clothing retailers should shed a little more light next week on whether consumers are starting to spend more freely ahead of the key Christmas trading period. Mid-market players Marks & Spencer (MKS).
John Lewis, the employee-owned group seen as a barometer of British retailing, posted a sixth consecutive week of rising department store sales, but said it was still too early to talk of a sustained consumer recovery.
From Facebook to Twitter to YouTube, retailers and food chains plan to use social media this holiday season to get their brands in front of consumers and possibly win a bigger piece of their limited shopping budgets.